News

Christmas in Colonial America wasn’t always festive

Christmas in Colonial America wasn’t always festive

CHRISTMAS IN COLONIAL TIMES: The festivities weren't always so bright in early America. Photo: clipart.com

Christmas in America has become a mixture of both secular and religious themes, a time of joy, gratitude and celebration.

But in Colonial times, it was a different story.

Surprisingly little is known about how early Americans celebrated Christmas.

That’s because historians of the day spent their time chronicling politics and wars, not holidays.

But it is known that the early settlers of Virginia, Maryland and Georgia brought English customs with them, while in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania the traditions of Holland, Sweden and Germany were carried on.

In New England, Christmas was long frowned upon. The Puritans associated it with the Church of England and the old-world customs they were escaping, including feasting, drinking and playing games.

Christmas and other holiday celebrations were banned in Massachusetts from 1659 until 1681. A law was passed declaring that anyone who observed a holiday would be fined five shillings.

The first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday was Alabama, in 1836.

Latest Stories

in Local Sports, Sports, UVA, UVA Sports

Hoos Drop Heartbreaker to UNC on Homecomings

NCAA Football: Virginia at Brigham Young

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP)– Mitch Trubisky threw a 16-yard touchdown pass on his only play of the game, giving North Carolina…

in National

Police seek motive in fatal Washington state school shooting

mp

Authorities are seeking a motive as to why a high school student shot dead a female classmate and wounded four others.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

beatles

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable moments.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Confirmation: Remains Found October 18th Match Graham

Graham Hannah Elizabeth 2 091514

A medical examiner confirms the remains found off Old Lynchburg Road October 18th match Hannah Graham.